Digital Public Defence: Kiarash Tazmini

MD Kiarash Tazmini at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis Electrolyte imbalances with special focus on hypokalemia: cellular pathophysiology and clinical manifestations. From basic science to clinical and epidemiological studies for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Ine Eriksen, UiO

The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

Click here to participate in the public defence

Download Zoom here

Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

See Digital Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Senior Consultant Karolina Szummer, Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden
  • Second opponent: Professor Øyvind Ellingsen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Emeritus Knut Gjesdal, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor II Kjetil Sunde, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Senior Consultant Erik Øie, Diakonhjemmet Hospital


Electrolyte imbalances (EIs) are common among patients, and may lead to nonspecific symptoms that can reduce the patient’s quality of life. Few studies have described the frequency and consequences of EIs in unselected adult patients visiting the emergency department. We found that EIs are common in these individuals, especially among older patients (>60 years of age). Furthermore, our results showed that EIs are associated with longer length of stay in the hospital, readmissions, and mortality. Consequently, knowledge of EIs amongst health personnel is crucial for optimal diagnosis and treatment of these patients.

Recent-onset atrial fibrillation (ROAF), defined as an abrupt onset of symptoms with 48 hours from admission, is highly prevalent in the emergency department and has different treatment options. Hypokalemia (plasma-potassium < 3,6 mmol/L) is associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation (AF), and some case studies have demonstrated conversion of AF to sinus rhythm during hyperkalemia. Our results indicate that infusion of potassium chloride with a subsequent rapid increase in plasma-potassium may increase the likelihood of conversion of ROAF to sinus rhythm. This treatment approach is likely more effective the lower the plasma potassium is, and the fewer AF episodes the patients have previously experienced. Thus, potassium chloride may be as effective as other anti-arrhythmic drugs without their risk or contraindications and without the burden of additional resources related to direct-current cardioversion therapy.

Lastly, we investigated the effect of hypokalemia in rat cardiomyocytes and found that hypokalemia increases the susceptibility to arrhythmia by distinct mechanisms in atrial and ventricular cardiomyocytes. We showed that a subgroup of atrial cardiomyocytes exhibits a distinct potassium current and that the blockade of this current may be particularly beneficial in patients with AF who are hypokalemic.

Additional information

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Published Apr. 26, 2021 10:36 AM - Last modified May 12, 2021 10:10 AM